Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals (the state’s intermediate appellate court) has issued a last minute order (embedded at the bottom of this post) staying the trial of van driver Officer Caesar Goodson, for which jury selection was to begin today, reports the Baltimore Sun. The purpose of this stay is to allow first for the resolution of a separate matter: whether Police Officer William Porter could be compelled to testify in Goodson’s despite the fact that Porter is awaiting his own re-trial.
For further details see last Friday’s Freddie Gray Case: Appellate Court Puts Hold On Officer’s Compelled Testimony, which has embedded a number of the relevant motions and orders.
This morning’s last minute stay was issued by Chief Judge Peter Krauser, who last Friday also issued an order halting trial Judge Barry Williams’ order that Porter be compelled to testify in Goodson’s trial.
The Baltimore Sun reports that in this morning’s order Chief Judge Krauser wrote that it was “presumably in the interests of all parties” that Porter’s appeal be resolved prior to the start of Goodson’s trial. This is in contradiction to both Goodson’s and Porter’s legal counsel, however, who objected to a separate motion by state prosecutors for a continuance on his client’s trial. (See the State’s motion for the continuance and Porter’s reply to that motion at the bottom of this post.) The State’s motion for a continuance is now moot, given Chief Judge Krauser’s stay.
State prosecutors have long claimed Officer Porter as a material witness in the Goodson trial, and they planned to bring him to the stand to testify in Goodson’s trial whether they obtained a hoped for conviction of Porter in his own earlier trial or whether Porter was acquitted. In either instance Porter’s criminal liability would have been finally adjudicated (except, arguably, for prospective federal charges).
In the event, however, Porter’s trial ended in a hung jury, and the state immediately announced their intention to re-try the officer. Under these circumstances Porter naturally decided that he would assert his 5th Amendment right to decline to testify on the grounds that his testimony might incriminate him for purposes of both future state and federal prosecution.
The state then issued a subpoena to compel Porter’s testimony, Porter sought to quash the subpoena, and trial Judge Barry Williams sided with the state and ordered that Porter would be compelled to testify. This resulted in Porter appealing Williams’ order to the Court of Special Appeals, which stayed the order, followed by this morning’s stay of Goodson’s trial.
Never before in Maryland legal history has a prospective defendant been compelled to testify while still awaiting trial.
this is what happens when BLM takes over the legal system
I have a feeling this is going to turn out like the Enron scandal did. Yeah something illegal happened but because of legal fuckups you can't prove which one of them did it, so they all need to be let off.
Probably won't end well for Baltimore.
I think a cursory look at the evidence in this case casts doubt on there being any criminal responsibility on behalf of the officers. Freddie Gray was a routine criminal whose reckless antics apparently got him killed. Despite violating policy procedure by not buckling him in, it was not a crime, and it was hardly murder.
>Despite violating policy procedure by not buckling him in, it was not a crime
Actually son, violating that protocol is the very definition of a crime
You're like the retard trying to say "just because I was going 70 in a 45 zone doesn't mean I should get a ticket"
>violating that protocol is the very definition of a crime
only if the prosecution can prove that failure to buckle him was the cause of his death, which they can't.
>We remain left to answer the question of whether that assumed failure was the proximate cause of Gray’s injuries. And again, this is an argument of which the prosecutor must convince each and every member of the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
>And here the very terminology of the autopsy report dooms Prosecutor Mosby’s theory of the case, specifically when the medical examiner compared Gray’s injuries to those typically suffered in a shallow-water diving incident.
>Thus the manner in which the police placed Gray in the van, on the floor of the vehicle, could not have been the proximate cause of his injuries.
>One can only reasonably infer that Gray managed to get to his knees, at least, and perhaps to his feet. Shackled hands and feet, in a moving vehicle, it was only a matter of time before even the normal motion of the van (even breaking normally for a traffic light or to accommodate other traffic) would cause Gray to lose his balance, resulting in a hard fall. With his hands cuffed,he would have no way to break his fall, with the result that he would fall forward with his head striking either the floor or forward bulkhead of the van.
>Exactly the same motion and the same impact as suffered in a shallow-water diving incident.
>And who positioned Freddie Gray so as to make him vulnerable to a shallow-water diving injury even under conditions where the van was being driven in an entirely normal manner?
>Only one person did that: Freddie Gray.
>Thus Freddie Gray becomes the proximate cause of the injuries to Freddie Gray. Not the police.